Vollie pivots online to meet demand for volunteering during the pandemic

Vollie pivots online to meet demand for volunteering during the pandemic

Matching her marketing skills, eye for design and passion for animal welfare with a volunteer role didn’t seem possible during COVID until RMIT graduate Suchinthra Sachaphornskul landed her ideal gig.

COVID-19 restrictions don’t have to dampen ambitions to make a difference while gaining real-world skills. RMIT has partnered with online platform, Vollie, to serve up skilled volunteering opportunities that students can access from home.

The Masters of Marketing graduate, Sachaphornskul, says Vollie helped her find the right fit at the right time.

“I’d been talking with a friend about ways to find jobs during the pandemic when I received an email from RMIT about Vollie,” she explains.

“I jumped onto the website to find out more and just loved the concept of improving your skills and gaining experience while supporting a cause you’re passionate about.” 

Student volunteering Masters of Marketing graduate Suchinthra Sachaphornskul

The last two months has seen more than 300 RMIT students like Sachaphornskul sign-up to the platform, with over 700 applications received from students looking to share their skills in IT, Marketing, Finance and more.

RMIT Executive Director of Global Partnerships and Engagement Adam Seedsman says it’s an exciting initiative.

It’s great to see students make a difference to amazing charities and not-for-profit organisations, while also earning important real-world experience aligned to their studies,” he says.

“The innovative online platform allows students to work on Vollie projects at a time and place that suits them, fitting perfectly within their existing work and life commitments.”

Changing the world from home

After signing up, Sachaphornskul landed a volunteer role with not-for-profit Odonata, getting behind their commitment to help restore and rejuvenate Australia’s biodiversity and boost threatened species populations. 

“It was the first job that aligned with my marketing skills, interest in design and passion for animal welfare,” she says.

Given the opportunity to work on designing Odonata’s new sales deck, she drew on the style guide and logo to come up with eye-catching material, fine tuning skills and experience that she’s transferred to further roles, all while working from home.

“Vollie’s vision has always been to create a way for people to volunteer and change the world from home,” says Vollie co-founder and CEO, Matthew Boyd.

“In an increasingly remote environment, fewer and fewer people were volunteering in Australia. It was time for the world of volunteering to catch up to the digital age.”

It’s a move Sachaphornskul endorses.

“Vollie has a fantastic system where you get to work with amazing not-for-profits, do interesting work, network, and even receive a letter of reference if you’ve done a good job,” she says.

“After completing your role, you also have someone to add as a referee on your resume. If you’re lucky you get a nice shout out on the company’s social media too!”

For Sachaphornskul, remote volunteering is a game changer.

“It’s just like an internship, but you can pick the projects you want to work on for the companies you’re interested in working with.”

And the best part she says,“is you automatically feel good when you know you’re supporting such important causes.”

To get involved, students can register on Vollie’s student portal and non-profits via the Vollie website.

 

Story: Diana Robertson and Alicia Olive 

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